archaeological treasure

Here are the ancient buildings that have been destroyed by Isis this year

This year the group has destroyed much of the Palmyra, a World Heritage Site in Syria.

THIS YEAR EXTREMIST group Isis has carried out vicious attacks throughout the Middle East and Europe.

Included in these has been an onslaught against ancient archeological sites, which the group claims to have ideological justification for.

Here are some of the worst demolitions they have carried out this year.


Nineveh Wall

The ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh had been surrounded by walls that dated back 2,700 years. In January of this year Isis destroyed large sections of the wall with explosives.

nineveh walls Adad Gate at Nineveh from the North Wikicommons Wikicommons


Mosul Museum 

In February, Isis released a video showing its members destroying the inside of Mosul Museum in northern Iraq. It was later revealed that a large number of the artefacts from inside the museum had been moved to Baghdad, meaning more than three quarters of them were saved.

MEMRITVVideos / YouTube


The ancient city of Nimrud 

In March of this year Isis began the destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud. In a video released in April the group’s militants were seen vandalising one of Iraq’s greatest archeological treasures.

The BBC reported that the group claimed to be waging war against what it classified as “false idols”.



In April of this year video footage emerged of Isis destroying the Unesco world heritage site Hatra.

The group were seen using bulldozers, sledgehammers and gunfire to destroy the 2,000-year-old ancient fortress.

Associated Press / YouTube

Bash Tapia Castle

This castle in the north of Iraq dated back to the 12th century and was blown up by Isis in April of this year after their capture of the city of Mosul.

bashtabia Bash Tapia Castle Wikicommons Wikicommons



Palmyra was perhaps the most notable landmark destroyed by Isis this year. Video footage showing the group seizing the site was released in May – with destruction of many of its main sites coming soon after.

U2Bheavenbound Warrior / YouTube

June 2015


In June the group continued its destruction of the Palmyra World Heritage Site with demolition of the Lion of Al-lāt, a statue that dated back to the early part of the 1st century.

lion of al lat The Lion of Al-lāt

July to August

Further damage to Palmyra

During this period it was reported by conservationists in Syria that the militants had destroyed a number of tower tombs at the Palmyra site dating back to the second century.

palmyra The temple at the ancient city of Palmyra


Green Church

In September the group destroyed Green Church, a 7th-century Syriac Orthodox Church in the city of Tikrit to the northwest of Baghdad.

green church Green Church Wikicommons Wikicommons


Arch of Triumph – Palmyra 

In October it was confirmed that the group had destroyed the Arch of Triumph, a 2,000-year-old structure located in the ancient city of Palmyra.

arch of triumph

Read: Cyber security analyst identifies 20 Islamic State supporters based in Ireland

Also: Isis bookshop vandalised for fifth time, still refuses to change name

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